The Media and Communications industry is an ever-evolving, highly visible field. Jobs in this industry generally involve creating content and sharing it with an external audience. You may find yourself at an agency working on behalf of multiple clients, or within an organization building a single brand.

Either way, someone looking to work in this industry could expect to build relationships with external groups, develop and communicate messages, and analyze their audiences to make sure that they’re sharing content in the right way. Above all, media and communications professionals are storytellers.

Industry Insights

Check out the latest Vault guides to Communications, Media and Entertainment, and other related industries.

Sample Employers in LionSHARE


Focus Areas in Communications & Media

Here is a sample list of applied areas in this industry:


Advertising is a paid persuasive message sponsored by the seller of a given product. Professionals in the advertising field often work for an agency that serves clients in a range of industries. Specific roles in advertising agencies typically fall within four tracks: account management, account planning, creative, and media.


Marketing is coordinated efforts a business takes to sell their products, whether in-house or through an external agency. A marketer might plan, direct, or coordinate marketing policies and programs, such as determining the demand for products and services offered by a firm and its competitors and identifying potential customers.


Journalists create content that informs, inspires, and educates. They work in newspapers, magazines, radio, television, film/documentaries, and online media.

public relations

Public Relations (PR) professionals transmit a message to the public about a specific product or company through news media. Working in PR involves ensuring that your message is portrayed positively through the press. A PR professional may help to create and implement a marketing strategy or help to mitigate negative publicity on a client’s or organization’s behalf.


Traditionally, publishing has been a print industry, but in recent years the internet and digital media have transformed this field. Many magazines, newspapers, and publishing companies have transitioned to include digital distribution.

social media

Many companies are embracing social media as a way to communicate with their customer base, as advertising revenues also make it an increasingly lucrative field. Companies are hiring social media staff to navigate this new field and to communicate with existing and potential customers and clients. 


By the time viewers see a blockbuster film in theaters or binge-watch their favorite television show, it has been touched by countless professionals, including writers, editors, producers, directors, studio executives, and agents. The film industry is the largest of all entertainment media fields, and it mainly employs people in three fields: creative, production, and business. Like film, television is a huge field, with positions in content, production, and business.

Columbia University Resources

  • Advertising, Marketing, and PR Industry Showcase: Panel and networking session for organizations with opportunities in advertising, marketing, and public relations. This event is held in the spring semester and sheds light on the differences between these industries, and allows you to network with professionals from several organizations. Past employers included Burson-Marsteller, IPG Mediabrands, National Basketball Association, Peppercomm, and Time Inc.
  • Book Publishing Industry Showcase: This career panel and networking event hosts representatives from a variety of companies, including Oxford University Press, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Random House, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Workman Publishing, and International Publications Media Group LLC.
  • CCE Sponsored Internships: Within these programs, students have held various media and communications internships with organizations like Carnegie Hall; The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center; the Harlem Film Center; and the Jordan Tourism Board.
  • Columbia Journalism School : View publicly-available career resources on the career services website, and attend events and lectures sponsored by the school.
  • Student Media: Join student media outlets such as the Columbia Daily SpectatorThe Blue and White, and WKCR to build experience.

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